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Sweepstakes for CSR? Yep: SweepsForACause by Giving Forward

Can marketers get all the direct marketing, awareness and branding impact of a sweepstakes while also looking like philanthropic heroes to their customers? I’m placing my bet on YES!

As a marketing mad scientist I sometimes have to put my money where my brain inspires me to go. I  this case, a cause-marketing powered philanthropic sweepstakes.

Sweepstakes are generally used by marketers for lead generation, branding and social activation. The standard way a marketer would launch a sweeps was to hire a promotional agency to develop the strategy, build the website and in some cases generate the rules. Or they might go it alone and use a platform like:

  1. ViralSweep
  2. Kickoff Labs  
  3. Vyper 
  4. UpViral
  5. Gleam
  6. and others… They all have their pros and cons…

When the ARV (Approximate Retail Value) is over $5000, Florida and NY require registration, so a sweepstakes administration company would often be used.

That can be a hassle, and expensive. Plus it delivers no philanthropic halo effect.

There are existing philanthropic sweepstakes out there. The biggest is OMAZE, a for-profit company that runs the sweepstakes where donations can be made for entry (as well as free entry options). Prizeo, is another giving-sweepstakes site, but they are more a platform for the nonprofits to use/license.

As the CEO of the eMarketing Association and the founder of Giving Forward, I wanted to literally create a win-win-win-win scenario; delivering branding, direct response, social media and CSR impact for the brand. Let’s look at everyone in the ecosystem who “wins.”

  1. Nonprofits win through increased donations (higher conversion rate and average donation amount when the donor earns sweeps entries by donating)
  2. Businesses / Brands win because they set the default nonprofit when they become a prize provider (prize donors as non-sponsors don’t have the typical legal hassle). The brand also set the default nonprofit pre-suggested to donors, and select the category of suggested alternates. Brands can also choose to match consumer donations up to a cap for selected causes only, which is great because unlike traditional CSR the brand engages the consumer in the philanthropy.
  3. Consumers win because one or more of them literally wins each sweepstakes and the remainder feel good about donating. They also get to share the sweeps opportunity with friends, and if the brand shared a special offer with donors, the consumer gets a great deal.
  4. Influencers, bloggers, publishers and broadcasters win because when they send clicks over to SweepsForACause, they can select the nonprofit they would like as the default, because we allow most of the IRS approved nonprofits to be the grantee of the donation revenue.

How does this all translate into CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or Corporate Philanthropy? Here’s how.

  • Businesses donate (as a prize provider) something desirable worth in excess of $2,000. No budget to donate your own prize or your business category doesn’t have enticing products or services?? Piggy-back on our existing cash sweeps.
  • Pledge to match donations to selected nonprofits (up to a cap)
  • Promote the sweepstakes to existing customers and let them help you support the cause, or simply enter for free which is also fun
  • Promote the sweepstakes via influencers or paid media
  • Take advantage of the social sharing and positive PR
  • Ask Giving Forward to add you into a co-registration flow where consumers can opt-in to join your email list
  • Ask Giving Forward to merchandize your iOS or Android app to entrants
  • Provide Giving Forward (SweepsForACause) a promo code to be shared with donors (or both donors and free entrants)

HEY publishers, broadcasters, bloggers, influencers and other businesses!!! Don’t want to donate stuff for your own sweepstakes, promote one of ours. You pick the default nonprofit using a US-based nonprofit’s EIN.

It’s simple: for example uses the EIN of the University of San Francisco, and Giving Forward will send 80% of net donations to the John Durham (a visionary former professor) scholarship fund.

Prefer a mainstream nonprofit cause which is part of the Ad Counsel? How about Autism Speaks?

Giving Forward doesn’t have all the logos from every US 501c3, but any marketer looking to help a cause, large or small should reach out.

Will this work at scale? Stay tuned because in the wise words of “This Is Spinal Tap” there is a fine line between stupid and clever.

Want to help right away with unsold banner ad inventory, or as an influencer with a specific nonprofit you want to help (with clicks, or by sweeping yourself off with a virtual or F2F lunch)? email

Traditional Publisher: Here are some banners:















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